Spring Home Maintenance: Windows & Screens


Windows typically need washing twice a year: once in the spring and again in the fall. It makes sense to inspect your windows at the same time for any damage that needs to be repaired, ensuring energy efficiency and clear views for many months to come.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Inspect and Replace Caulking Around Windows

Cracked and otherwise damaged window caulking can cause your HVAC system to work harder than it should, resulting in higher utility bills. There are many ways to check for air leaks. The easiest is to perform a visual inspection and to feel for a breeze with your hand. ( EnergyStar.gov outlines other methods.) Check both interior and exterior caulking.

If you find damage, remove all of the old caulk and any dirt or debris to ensure the new caulk will stick properly and provide a good seal. Apply a caulk softener if necessary and use a putty knife for best results. When applying new caulk, ensure you fill the entire gap. Use your finger to push the caulk in and smooth out the surface.

While you have the caulking supplies out, inspect and repair any around your doors to seal those leaks as well.

2. Inspect and Repair Windowsills

Home Window Repair Mr. Handyman Technician

Rot can set into wooden windowsills , and you might not notice during the colder winter months. Check each windowsill, inside and outside, for white or yellow discoloration. Use a screwdriver to test the wood for sponginess.

If you find either indicator, unless you have experience repairing wood rot you will want to contact your professional handyman. Many homeowners DIY the task and do not get all of the rot, which means it will continue to spread and cause even more damage. He or she can also check any wooden stairs or decking , as rotting in these areas is not only unsightly, but can be dangerous when it compromises the safety of those structures.

3. Clean, Inspect and Repair Window Screens

The screens must come off to clean the windows, so why not give them attention as well. Start by looking for holes, tears and bent frames. All will allow bugs to enter your home, and the last insects you want to have buzzing around your home are the biting mosquitoes that become a menace during the summer.

If you can bend frames back into their original shape, repair any small holes or tears in the screens. Instant adhesive works well in these cases, or you can purchase a screen repair kit from your local home improvement store, which also will have screen replacement kits.

If you cannot bend frames back into shape, consider replacing the entire screen. Repairing holes and tears will not keep bugs from scooting around the bent frame and into your home.

To clean the window screens, lay them on a tarp and spray them-gently as you do not want to cause any damage-with a garden hose. Then spray diluted vinegar or another cleaner to each side, letting the cleaner sit for 30 minutes. Next, use a soft toothbrush to dislodge any remaining dirt or debris before rinsing them again. Let the screens dry fully before placing them back on your home. You wouldn't want them to drip on all of your freshly cleaned windows, would you?

These are just three tasks on our Spring Home Maintenance Checklist. You can download the entire checklist and get to work, or you can outsource all or just some of the tasks to your professional handyman. You might feel more comfortable having a pro check your gutters or look for leaks that could result in costly damage if not addressed soon. Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.